The Models Of Contextual Theology Essay

2453 Words Oct 5th, 2016 10 Pages
Write a book review of Stephen B. Bevans’ Models of Contextual Theology. Describe and evaluate the theological assumptions behind each of the ‘models’ of contextual theology.

Models of Contextual Theology is a concise theological book exploring the interaction between the good news of the gospel message and the culture and context within which we live. Bevans is a Roman Catholic priest and academic, who spent several of his early years working in the Philippines, learning practically what it means to minister in a context different from his own; he draws on some of these experiences in his book. The book is aimed particularly at theologians and academics who would like an intellectual basis for understanding the why and how of their own practices of ministry. It also explores a necessity to break away from ‘classical theology’ which has grown up from mostly male-dominated and western-dominated contexts. Bevans provides six working ‘models’ of how an understanding of context might apply to and enhance the outworking of faith and global evangelisation today.

We all experience life within a context (to a greater or lesser extent of self-awareness) and it is helpful to have a structure to explore how our context affects the meanings we attribute to our faith, and how we might align our thinking and deliberations with others. Bevans explains this clearly:

‘As our cultural and historical context plays a part in the construction of the reality in which we live, so our context…
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